Glacier Peak freshman Jo Lee (pictured earlier this season) hit five 3-pointers and scored 22 points to lead the Grizzlies to a signature victory over perennial 4A power Federal Way last Thursday. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Glacier Peak freshman Jo Lee (pictured earlier this season) hit five 3-pointers and scored 22 points to lead the Grizzlies to a signature victory over perennial 4A power Federal Way last Thursday. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Boys basketball weekly update: Storylines from around the area

GP beat 4A power Federal Way, Jackson continued its strong start, Stanwood knocked off Arlington, and more.

GLACIER PEAK BEATS 4A POWER FEDERAL WAY

Like many teams across the area this season, Glacier Peak has been dealing with the effects of numerous canceled games stemming from COVID-19 protocols.

So after both of their originally scheduled contests were canceled last week, Grizzlies coach Brian Hunter was just happy to find replacement opponents on short notice.

“It was really big that we got to play,” Hunter said. “Just getting on the court was big.”

In the process, Glacier Peak picked up a signature victory over a perennial Class 4A state power.

The Grizzlies outlasted Federal Way for a 74-69 non-league win last Thursday night, beating a high-caliber program that’s made six consecutive 4A state quarterfinal appearances — including back-to-back state titles in 2015 and 2016.

After last spring’s abbreviated season and the choppiness of this winter, Hunter said the game felt like his program’s first high-level contest since its 4A state semifinal run in March of 2020.

“It was the first feel of a real game we’ve had since the Saturday of the state tournament two years ago,” Hunter said. “So that was cool to be able to be in an atmosphere and a game that felt similar to what we’re more accustomed to playing in.”

Freshman guard Jo Lee led Glacier Peak (5-1) with 22 points and five 3-pointers, including 14 points and four 3s in a red-hot fourth-quarter shooting display.

“Being a freshman, that’s definitely different,” Hunter said of Lee’s performance. “That’s not normal. In our 14 years at Glacier Peak, we’ve never had a freshman have the role that he has with us.”

Senior guard Bobby Siebers had another big game with 19 points. Siebers, the lone remaining key contributor from the 2019-20 state semifinal team, is averaging 25.8 points per contest.

“He’s obviously a skilled, accomplished player,” Hunter said. “And so we expected him to take on that role this year. But he still has to go do it. And I think he’s done that.”

Senior forward Torey Watkins also has made a big impact, averaging 13.0 points and double-digit rebounds per game.

“He’s just played really good team, selfless basketball for us and has just been really important,” Hunter said.

Hunter said he would’ve liked to have more non-league games before heading into Wesco 4A play this week. But the victory over Federal Way was undoubtedly an important step as his team continues to grow and improve.

“It was nice to see the kids play the way they did, because I just think it was more similar to how we would normally play,” Hunter said. “It just has taken a while to get there, because we haven’t had the time on the court together.”

JACKSON CONTINUES STRONG START

Double-double machine Sylas Williams has led Jackson to a 9-1 start. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Double-double machine Sylas Williams has led Jackson to a 9-1 start. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Jackson capped an impressive non-league slate by racing past previously unbeaten Woodinville in a 76-57 rout last Wednesday night.

It was another quality win for the Timberwolves (9-1), who earned a pair of resume-boosting victories last month over defending 2A state champion North Kitsap and another top 2A team in Port Angeles. Jackson’s lone loss came on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to Curtis, which is expeceted to be among the top 4A teams in the state.

The Timberwolves love to push the tempo and are averaging 76.2 points per game in their fast-paced attack. They’re led by 6-foot-6 junior Sylas Williams, a double-double machine who’s averaging nearly 24 points and 14 rebounds per game.

But it’s been far from a one-man show. Senior guard Drilon Veliu averages nearly 16 points per game. Senior forward Bradley Tharp adds 11 points and six rebounds per contest. And senior wing Henry Armstrong chips in nine points and three assists per game.

“We’ve had lots of guys in double figures,” Jackson coach Steve Johnson said. “I think unselfishness and consistency really have been the main two things that have led to a successful non-league season. … We’ve been pretty consistent across the board collectively and individually.”

WESCO 4A LOOKS AS COMPETITIVE AS EVER

There are just five teams in Wesco 4A this season. But as the league begins conference play this week, Wesco 4A looks as tough and balanced as it’s been in a long time.

Glacier Peak, which has claimed three of the past four Wesco 4A titles, is off to a 5-1 start and owns the aforementioned signature win over Federal Way. Jackson is 9-1, with several notable victories. Mariner is 6-5, but has played a tough non-league slate and has several impact players back from last spring’s 10-0 team. And both Kamiak and Lake Stevens appear capable of knocking off any other team in the league on any given night.

“I think the previous four seasons, the top few teams (in Wesco 4A) have somewhat distanced themselves early and it was somewhat obvious who was gonna be at the top of the standings,” Glacier Peak coach Brian Hunter said. “Whereas this year, I do not feel that way. It’s a difficult league. All the teams are talented. … I think you could make a case for a number of teams being the league favorite at this point right now.”

With just five teams in the league, each Wesco 4A team has just eight scheduled conference games this season.

“Our season is kind of weird with so few league games,” Jackson coach Steve Johnson said. “Now you wipe the slate clean in some respects and you kind of have a real quick eight-game season.”

STANWOOD KNOCKS OFF ARLINGTON IN RIVALRY CLASH

Arlington was in the Wesco 3A/2A driver’s seat after a pair of key victories last month over fellow league-title contenders Mountlake Terrace and Shorecrest. But that’s no longer the case after a loss to its archrival.

Stanwood knocked the Eagles from their perch atop the league standings, pulling away for a 62-56 rivalry victory over Arlington last Friday night. Junior point guard Owen Thayer led the Spartans with 19 points and was one of four Stanwood scorers in double figures.

With the Eagles’ loss, all 16 teams in Wesco 3A/2A now have at least one defeat in league play. The conference title race is shaping up to be wide-open affair, with Arlington (5-2, 3-1 Wesco 3A/2A), Shorecrest (8-1, 4-1), Stanwood (5-3, 4-1) and Mountlake Terrace (4-1, 2-1) looking like the leading contenders at this point.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Seattle Mariners' Luis Torrens, center, is greeted by teammates Mitch Haniger, left, and J.P. Crawford, right, after Torrens hit a walk-off RBI single to give the Mariners a 1-0 win over the New York Yankees in a 13-inning baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Torrens’ walk-off single lifts M’s past Yankees 1-0 in 13

Seattle edges New York in a game dominated by pitching and defense.

FILE - Serena Williams reacts after beating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, in the championship match at the 2012 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. Saying “the countdown has begun,” 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams announced Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, she is ready to step away from tennis so she can turn her focus to having another child and her business interests, presaging the end of a career that transcended sports.AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Serena Williams says she’s ready to step away from tennis

The 23-time Grand Slam champion indicates in an essay that she will stop playing after this month’s U.S. Open.

FILE - Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch walks off the field after NFL football practice in Renton, Wash., in this Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, file photo. During Marshawn Lynch’s 12 NFL seasons he earned a reputation for his fearless style on the field, while remaining one of the league’s most reclusive figures off the field. Now the retired running back is lending his voice to try to help members of Black and Hispanic communities make more informed decisions about receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Lynch released a 30-minute interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci on his YouTube channel Friday, April 16, 2021, becoming the latest prominent athlete to sit down with him to discuss the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines as the U.S. continues to combat the pandemic.  (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Marshawn Lynch arrested on suspicion of DUI in Las Vegas

The former Seahawks star was taken into custody around 7:25 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Washington State head coach Nick Rolovich looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Utah, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rolovich seeking $25M from WSU for wrongful termination

The football coach was fired in 2021 for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine as required of state employees.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Dust Devils deliver AquaSox 6th consecutive loss

Everett manages just two hits in a 4-0 loss to Ti-City.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox Week in Review: Postseason odds grow longer

Everett lost two more key players last week, and the Sox saw themselves fall further behind in the Northwest League’s second-half race.

Seattle Seahawks offensive and defensive linemen jog up the field before the team's mock NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Seattle. (Jennifer Buchanan/The Seattle Times via AP)
Lock wins first big test in Seahawks’ QB competition

The 4th-year quarterback outplays veteran Geno Smith in Seattle’s mock game at Lumen Field.

Cory McKenna (top) tries to submit Miranda Granger during a UFC mixed martial arts match on Aug. 6, 2022, in Las Vegas. (Photo via ESPN MMA)
Glacier Peak grad Granger defeated in return to action

The Snohomish native loses by second-round submission to Cory McKenna in her first fight in nearly two years.

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird sits on the bench during a WNBA basketball game against the Minnesota Lynx, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Seattle. Bird is retiring at the end of the 2022 season. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Bird at peace for what could be final game in Seattle

The basketball icon, who is retiring at the end of the season, will be celebrated in front of a record crowd on Sunday.

Most Read